Lucasfilm has made a significant addition to their executive team, announcing today that they have hired Michelle Rejwan as the Senior Vice President of Live Action Development and Production.
According to Lucasfilm, “Rejwan will oversee a new slate of feature films and episodic series for Lucasfilm and Disney+ and continue to produce with [Lucasfilm President Kathleen] Kennedy as Star Wars enters an exciting new chapter in storytelling.”
Kennedy expressed her excitement in a statement, saying that, “I have had the opportunity to work with Michelle over the last seven years as a producer on both The Force Awakens and now The Rise of Skywalker and have seen first-hand her talent working with writers and directors, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with her creative skills and her ability to manage the complexity surrounding these massive projects. I know the importance of building a team that you trust and have fun working with – it is paramount to our success. There’s an exciting momentum building around the future of the franchise and both myself and the Lucasfilm team look forward to working with Michelle in shaping the future in all areas of story development, from theatrical film development to live action content for Disney+.”
So this seems like a pretty significant addition, and I’m thrilled to hear that Rejwan is going to be taking an active role in overseeing the live action content that is produced by Lucasfilm – including, as the release states, new feature films and episodic series. There figures to be a ton of live action stuff coming in the future for Star Wars, and Rejwan is now tasked with helping oversee it.
Rejwan is no stranger to Star Wars, as she was a co-producer on The Force Awakens and is a producer on The Rise of Skywalker, alongside Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams. So she has a very significant role on the final film of the Skywalker saga and has been working on the sequel trilogy for a while, as she has been a longtime partner of Abrams at Bad Robot, where she spent a decade as a member of Abrams’ producing team. So she has already been involved quite a bit in the business of film production, and more specifically, she has already been involved on Star Wars. This means that Kathy Kennedy knows her well and has worked with her, which gives even more reason for confidence that this move is going to turn out terrifically. If Kennedy – one of movie history’s most decorated and accomplished producers – knows Rejwan and has worked with her, this must be a great fit.
I think that the timing of this news also makes sense – because it was reported today that WarnerMedia has won the bidding war for a $500 million partnership with Bad Robot (Abrams’ producing company). That means that Abrams is going to be working on films and TV shows for WarnerMedia and is probably done with Star Wars, so in many ways it seems like Lucasfilm hired away one of Bad Robot’s producers to ensure they could keep working with her. That’s a smart move.
Rejwan has long been the logical choice for such a position, and many have also wondered whether she could be the eventual successor to Kennedy whenever the Lucasfilm President decides to retire (which hopefully won’t come for a while still!). That would make sense, but regardless, it’s nice that Rejwan will continue overseeing live action Star Wars products.